What We’re Not Allowed To Know About the Afghan War | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

What We’re Not Allowed To Know About the Afghan War

So, to hit only the highest of the highlights: let’s review just what’s (sequentially) in, the security section of SIGAR-46 – with particular attention to what it says, doesn’t say, and says it doesn’t say. The darn think begins with a instructive admission from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, in which he admits the Afghan War is "still" in "a state of strategic stalemate." Not too comforting, that – especially after 19 years of killing and dying. Then, it quotes a January 22, 2020 White House statement that President Trump’s goal is for the Taliban to demonstrate "a significant and lasting reduction in violence…that would facilitate meaningful negotiations on Afghanistan’s future."

Presumably, this would allow the U.S. to – Vietnam-style – declare victory and go home. Unfortunately, what it doesn’t say is that the Taliban holds the strongest hand right now, controls or contests more of the country than ever before, has time on its side, and thus has no incentive to oblige Mr. Trump. Nor does it say that (and this is awkward) the "sovereign" Afghan Government categorically rejects negotiations with the Taliban on Trump’s – admittedly oscillating – terms.

Furthermore, the report says that Taliban-initiated attacks were actually higher this fourth quarter than in any year since data collection began in 2010. Furthermore, it admits that more American service members died in 2019 (23) than in any year since 2014. SIGAR doesn’t say, what, precisely, those soldiers died for! The report then goes on to list out a bunch of fairly vital information that’s recently (for the last few years) been "classified.” Instructively, SIGAR feels obliged (read: forced) to place the following verbatim statement before each and every datapoint it says it can’t say: "US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) continued to classify or otherwise restrict from public release the following types of data…" These minor items include, well: Afghan Security Forces’ casualty numbers, performance assessments (how these U.S.-trained units are, you know, doing), and overall personnel "attrition" (from desertion, books-cooking, and battle deaths).

I know what you’re thinking: so how are the American people to know how the war is going, and thus how to assess it, and thereby which candidate for commander-in-chief to vote for? Short answer: they won’t – and that’s the idea! The national security state doesn’t want an educated, informed, active citizenry. That’s not in their interest.

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